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Monday, October 10, 2016

Mary Cooke, Clemson University MFA Alumna, to Present "Diminishing Connections: Nature, the Domestic, and Thingness" at SECAC 2016!

Roanoke, Virginia
Thursday, October 20
8:00-9:45 am

As a part of the panel, "Unearth: A Conversation between Natural and Cultural Landscape," Chaired by Professor Shona Macdonald, Department of Art, UMass Amherst, Clemson University MFA alumna, Mary Cooke (MFA 2015--Art, sculpture emphasis), will present, "Diminishing Connections: Nature, the Domestic, and Thingness," on Thursday, October 20, 2016.

The session will explore shifting perceptions between what we have traditionally considered "natural" and "cultural," within our landscape. For example, many pastoral views are as culturally manufactured as strip malls or condominiums and the notion of landscape or nature as a retreat may now be as illusory as a painting of a landscape. Further troubling these waters, new technologies such as webcams and Google Earth blur the boundaries of constructed landscape, (that which we consider "cultural") and wilderness, (which no longer exists in a "pure" form.)

This panel invites and encourages explorations of how artists, art historians, and art critics navigate the residual tensions between what is still considered natural and what is considered cultural? How have new technologies affected our perception and experience of the landscape? Can the landscape still be viewed as a retreat or sanctuary or is this an outmoded impossibility? How do artists define natural and cultural landscapes? Do these definitions retain value or are they obsolete?

The other presenters are:
  • Shona Macdonald | University of Massachusetts Amherst
  • Micah Cash | University of North Carolina at Charlotte
  • Jason Brown | The University of Tennessee, Knoxville
Presentations will take place at the:

110 Shenandoah Avenue NW
Roanoke, Virginia 24016
(540) 985-5900

For more information on the conference, please go to:

For a copy of the conference program, please go to:

Greg Shelnutt, Chair of the Art Department at Clemson University, will also present at the conference, chairing the session, "Shaky Ground, Scorched Earth, Falling Waters, and Rising Tides: Protecting and Sustaining Studio Practice and Arts Agencies in the Era of Catastrophe," on Friday, October 21st at 3:15 pm.

SECAC 2016 - Roanoke, VA

The city of Roanoke, Virginia, Virginia Tech, and Hollins University are proud to host the 72nd annual SECAC meeting October 19-22, 2016. Kevin ConcannonDirector of the School of Visual Arts and Professor, Art History, at Virginia Tech, serves a conference director.

Join us in the beautiful mountains of Southwest Virginia for SECAC 2016. Sessions will take place at the official conference hotel, the Hotel Roanoke & Conference Center. The Hotel Roanoke, which was added to the National Register of Historic Places in 1996, is located in the heart of vibrant downtown Roanoke within easy walking distance of the Taubman Museum of Art, The Harrison Museum of African American Culture, and the O Winston Link Museum, and many restaurants and bars.

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